Thursday, May 31, 2007

It Happens Every Day

The post I wrote yesterday about Folole Muliaga was completely inadequate.

My words are inadequate to express how angry, how upset I am for Folole Muliaga and her family. Even if there is no connection between Mercury's disconnection of their electricity and her death, cutting off the electricity of someone on oxygen fills me with rage.

But partly I am finding it so hard to express myself because her death is not that unusual, in fact it is just a demonstrates a common tragedy. Last year Idiot/Savant wrote about the cost of cold weather: in NZ 1,600 more people die in winter than summer. In winter every time a house's electricity gets disconnected is risking their health, and maybe their life Not just the disconnections, the cost of electricity (and ridiculously badly built houses) damage people's health, and risk people's life.

It's not just electricity, we're a rich country and there are people who aren't allowed food and blankets.

All I can say is that poor people being denied electricity to run oxygen is not OK. It's not an acceptable systems failure. It's not an acceptable side-effect of an otherwise fine economic system.

Pick a side. If you're OK with the wages of poverty being death then continue as you were, but if you're not, then don't just look on and let it happen.

I will be going to the Wellington protest tomorrow:

Friday 1 June 12:30pm
Electricity Commission
Corner of Hunter and Victoria Sts

Note: I've put comment moderation on over night, because I cannot handle another person who says 'but if they didn't want to die they should have paid their electricity bill'


  1. I agree with you. When people struggle to pay bills there should be some backstop to keep people at a living level of warmth, power, and food.

    I have been in the position where we have had to choose to pay either rent, food or power (through poverty due to ill health) and we had small children and a baby who _needed_ to be kept warm and fed.

    The stress alone is devastating.

    I also feel that the health system has some responsibility here though. This woman possibly should have been kept in hospital.

    No one should die because they could not pay a bill. Not here in rich New Zealand.

  2. Anonymous10:20 pm

    MERCURY ENERGY, not Meridian.

  3. People die because of greed every day. And those killing them get rewarded by "earning" more money. We live in a sick world.

  4. Anonymous6:30 pm

    Im not sure there is anyone on the other side - well not anyone who isn't widely known to be a wacko. no one wants to kill people for 100 odd dollars. In fact we'd spend about a million to prevent it.